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In ten years, Twin Cities Youth Rowing has acquired a fleet of 16 racing shells for use by our oarsmen and oarswomen. We row two classes of boats, fours and eights.
While some of our shells are nearly 20 years old, you wouldn’t know it. Each winter all the boats are removed from storage and gone through by staff and parents to replace worn parts, touch up scratches and, in some cases, even repaint them.
By 2012 we were through with the capitalization phase of fleet development and we are in the process of replacing old, tired and the wrong-sized boats and with newer, more reliable and faster equipment.
Today’s rowing shells are built with the same construction materials as Indy race car bodies. While our older boats use fiberglass or even wood in some areas, our newer boats are 100% carbon fiber, amazingly stiff and light, and have a service life measured in decades. While a new racing eight can cost over $38,000, fours and very well maintained used eights are available for much less. Trainers are slower, heavier, more flexible and even more affordable.
Equipment funding comes from the annual budget, but a number of our shells have been partially or wholly donated by friends of TCYR. It is a tradition in rowing that donors decide on the boat’s name. Shells are named for family members, supporters, and some just for fun. A number are memorials which will serve future rowers for many years. A special moment in the life of our program is the naming ceremony for a new boat where families gather, some from across the country, to celebrate and witness the ceremony.
If you would like to support Twin Cities Youth Rowing by contributing to the fleet, please make contact with the Program Director or a board member. Naming rights come with even a partial gift for fleet development.
The TCYR Fleet, 2018
|1st Racing Eight||Boys||Eight Vespoli ’15||New Boat/ no name|
|1st Racing Eight||Girls||Eight Vespoli ’15||Athena|
|1st Racing Four||Boys||Four + Vespoli ’16||Rendezvous +|
|1st Racing Four||Girls||Four + Vespoli ’14||Riggerous|
|2nd Racing Eight||Girls||Eight Vespoli ’10||Goose|
|2nd Racing Eight||Boys||Eight Vespoli ’10||Miles2Row *|
|2nd Racing Four||Boys||Four + Vespoli ’12||All Aboard +|
|2nd Racing Four||Boys||Four + Vespoli ’09||“JD” Davis +|
|2nd Racing Four||Girls||Four + Vespoli ’04||Koopa Shell|
|Practice Eight||Novice||Eight Vespoli ’01||Speed Queen *|
|Race/Practice Eight||Boys||Eight Vespoli ’05 GTP||Choo Choo Train|
|Race/Practice Eight||Girls||Eight Vespoli ’00||Courageous *|
|Race/Practice Four||Girls||Four + Vespoli ’12||Merlion +|
|Spare Eights||Novice||Eight Vespoli ’00||J & C Hammett +|
|Spare Fours||Novice||Four + Vespoli ’96||Jolly Rogers*|
|Spare Fours||Novice||Four + Vespoli ’97||Three Rivers +|
|Not usable/ damaged||Girls||Eight Vespoli ’00||Susan Vojta *|
* indicates memorial boats
+ Indicates named in honor of supporters and family donated
Here’s a link to Bill Davis’s tour of the Vespoli shop in 2012 (PDF file, 7Mb)